Crypts - Crypts
With tags on their Bandcamp saying electronic, experimental, Goth, rock and punk even, the most stubborn of writers would be stupid not to check out this three piece from Seattle. Throwing the tags together could make a whirlwind of possibilities musically, and these could result in some hybrid mixture of Alice Cooper meets Crystal Castles, with a sprinkling of Nine Inch Nails. A combination like that could sound ear-watering to a lot of music lovers but Crypts are a different kind of monster, the three names above maybe an influence here but the group are definitely steering there own ship through a storm of extremely dark electronica.
You get the feeling of "what is exactly happening here?" when you listen through this self titled debut. This feels like a musical apocalypse which is destroying the well known fabric of an average rock band and taking it to a darker place. An unnerving place which maybe a little too grim for fragile ears, but then again surely you knew what you were getting yourself into when you see the tags, and realise the bands name is a home for dead people?
Crypts' style is trying to make every instrument they use sound as sinister as possible. The bass snarls in the tracks while the programmed claps crash over the top of them. Guitars are thrown in the fire and replaced by thick, noisy synths which bombard your ears. Opening track 'Completely Fucked' starts like something which could be found in Terrence Howard's Hustle and Flow movie; its full of piercing hi hats which rapidly stab through the synths, while combining with scattered claps which you'll get very familiar with before the end of this album. It's Southern hip hop beats with a Gothic undertone and it fortunately doesn't sound like a confusing mess at all.
'Territories' is probably the closest song on the album which coincides with standard pop song construction. Every other track seems to stick to the bands title of "experimenting with sounds" and experimenting with song structure. However the six minute 'Territories' is different, this is because of it's goth-pop chorus which has lead singer Steve Snere cry out his muffled lyrics like a werewolf to the moon. There's still that dark mist of electronica smothering the song like a graveyard on Halloween, it's just when Crypts aren't wildly experimenting and making our ears convulse with hazy rhythms, the group show even more invention by creating a foreboding pop song like this.
It seems the band still has that post-hardcore lineage thanks to the lead singer, and this is what keeps the debut fresh. The album isn't just another Crystal Castle's rip off, and it's not trying to pick up from when Nine Inch Nails left off. Snere and his two cohorts are crafting something which has the potential to gain a cult following, kind of like a Dario Argento film; ghastly and unattractive to some but then precisely edited and wonderfully constructed to others.